the first time i wore a two-piece bathing suit was right after my highschool graduation.
i'm not even sure you could really classify it as a two-piece. the bottom half was boy shorts and the top half was like a tank top (this was before someone coined the term: tankini). they met in the middle so that really not much skin showed at all. in fact, it was probably more modest than most one-pieces. it was bright blue with a snake skin pattern, and i was so proud of that bathing suit.
FINALLY, i didn't have to wear a boring, old and motherly looking, embarrasing one piece. i bought it with my own money, and packed it in my bag going with me to the beach for our senoir class trip. i could not wait to wear that bathing suit. for me, that was more exciting than turning 18 and being able to vote...or getting my driver's license (which i also did not do until i was 18).
emphasis on BIG DEAL here.
my whole life, i'd gone to schools, and camps, and pools in friends back yards with a mandate stating THOU SHALT NOT WEAR A TWO-PIECE BATHING SUIT! i mean, if you were caught wearing one of THOSE at some of these places, you would immediately be sent home to change while everyone else discussed the earth-shattering effects of your bad judgement and the seriousness of your relationship with Christ...and possibly held an emergency prayer meeting pleading with God to forgive your Sinful Swimwear Selection (and yet somehow i ended up in an organization in college with the same mandate about the B-word. did that stop me from wearing mine a little further down the beach from everyone else? no it did not.).
back to my story. i'm pretty sure i dreamed about wearing my brand new BIKINI (which wasn't even close to the real thing) several nights in a row before actually leaving for the beach trip. when we finally rolled up to the beach house we were staying at and got everything settled, what do you think i did? if your answer is that i immediately put on my two-piece and proudly strolled down the walkway to the beach where i sat my two-piece clad self on my towel in the sand triumphantly, you would be correct. did the earth spin off of its axis for a split second?
nothing happened...except that a tiny portion of my lilly white belly just may have peeked out and said hello to the sun for the first time in it's life. followed by an earthquake off the coast of California. and now i'm living in a halfway house and eating at soup kitchens.
oh glorious day! i wasn't asking for much. just a chance to decide for myself what kind of swimwear i'd be sporting all summer long. and wouldn't you know it? that very night i met a boy and talked to him. i give all the credit to my two-piece. everyone knows wearing two-pieces leads to other "no-no's" like talking to boys...and EATING ICECREAM WITH THEM. gasp! i think there was even a go-cart involved.
needless to say, it was a harmlessly fun trip (even though one classmate made a point to drive herself to my house a few days after the trip and tell me what she thought of my two-piece and that i should fall on my face before the Lord and repent. ok, yes, i'm exaggerating a bit here, but to her, that bathing suit meant i was heading down the path of destruction) and i was pretty pleased with myself for daring to try new things, ie bathing suits and talking to boys (is that a correct use of ie? i'm not even sure i really know what that means.). and, in case you're wondering, i do not fault my parents for my previous lack of swimwear selection. did they want their daughter to look classy and not trashy? of course, but even my dad the pastor and my mom the (not really one good title to insert here...what would you call yourself, mom?) "minister/counselor to women in need" didn't ground me for life when i started wearing two-pieces. in fact, i'm almost positve they purchased my next one, which was BRIGHT ORANGE. not a good look with blindingly white skin....sigh.
and now? well, as soon i post this i'm off to purchase Lorelei her very first bikini with a buttload of ruffles on the bottom!! actually, i don't care how many pieces there are to her swimsuit. i just want something completely adorable with the previously mentioned buttload of ruffles. this is the only time it is ok for a swimsuit to make your butt look bigger, and all those ruffles will most certainly do the trick!
and just to set my old classmate's mind at ease: i have turned from my wicked ways. this summer i will be in a one-piece. you can stop praying for me.
until next summer...or until you discover that i tune in and enjoy watching The Ellen Show.